Saturday , July 13 2024

Boeing CEO: Alaska Airlines incident ‘our mistake,’ vows transparency


Boeing Chief Executive Dave Calhoun took responsibility for a near-catastrophic Alaska Airlines incident Tuesday, vowing “complete transparency” as the aviation giant tries to pivot from its latest crisis.

“We’re going to approach this number one acknowledging our mistake,” Calhoun told employees at a safety meeting called after Friday’s emergency landing, which came after one of the plane’s panels blew out mid-flight. “We’re going to approach it with 100 percent and complete transparency every step of the way.”

Calhoun, who ascended to Boeing’s top post in January 2020 as the company reeled from two fatal crashes on the 737 MAX, committed to working with the National Transportation Safety Board, which is probing the incident.

The NTSB is “as good as it gets,” Calhoun said, according to remarks released by the company. “I trust every step they take, and they will get to a conclusion.”

Oxygen masks hang near where part of a Boeing plane blew out during Alaska Airlines Flight 1282, which suffered depressurization soon after takeoff. Photo by Reuters

Oxygen masks hang near where part of a Boeing plane blew out during Alaska Airlines Flight 1282, which suffered depressurization soon after takeoff. Photo by Reuters

U.S. regulators with the Federal Aviation Administration have grounded 171 737 MAX 9 planes with the same configuration as the Alaska Airlines jet.

The affected panel, a door plug, is used to fill an unneeded emergency exit in planes.

NTSB investigators suggested Monday night that the part was not affixed adequately.

On Tuesday, the FAA said it was still working with Boeing to finalize detailed inspection instructions for grounded planes.

“Boeing offered an initial version of instructions yesterday which they are now revising because of feedback received in response,” the FAA said Tuesday. “Upon receiving the revised version of instructions from Boeing the FAA will conduct a thorough review.”

Boeing said it is in contact with customers and the FAA on requirements.

“As part of the process, we are making updates based on their feedback and requirements,” a Boeing spokesman said.

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